tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 8, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PDT
second quarter. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with the debates, last week's and this week's. last week's got a lot of harsh commentary and a lot of satire, including this from "saturday night live." >> joining us from outside the university of colorado where he has refused to eat, shower, or sleep since the debate, chris matthews. >> what the hell happened? i want answers! >> is that me? anyway, so that's the battle. the war continues.
there are two kinds of success winston churchill once said, initial and ultimate. the presidential candidate who comes out on top of all four of these debates, including the vice-presidential debate, will be the one who impresses the american people with one message, that he can take us to a better place, he can deliver us from the economy we all inherited from george w. bush to something better. romney came out best in the first debate because he denied the path he has chosen, denied the big tax cut from 35% down to 28% for people at the top bracket. the all-out elimination of the estate tax, the big-time cut in the corporate rate. he denied his plan to eliminate medicare, denied he would kill coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. he got away without bothering to deny his plan to let the automobile industry to go bankrupt and to dump 40 million people to wait in the emergency room. let's look at some of the latest
polling in the wake of wednesday's debate. this afternoon pew released a poll that showed a dramatic shift toward romney. this poll covers the four days since the debate, and it has romney pulling even with president obama among registered voters, 46% even. four weeks ago pew had obama up by nine among registered voters, so this has been a huge shift in the pew poll. the move in the pew poll towards romney is greater among likely voters. romney is surging ahead to 49%. four weeks ago obama led among likely voters by eight. now to the latest gallup tracking poll which covers the last seven days. gallup has president obama back in the lead at 50 to 45. what a difference from the other poll. that's exactly where the race stood before the debate. romney had surged in the tracking poll. the two candidates were actually tied in the three days immediately after the debate, but the president seems to have wiped out romney's gains in the gallup poll. joining me right now are howard fineman, editorial director of
the "huffington post," and the honorable michael nutter, mayor of philadelphia and presidential surrogate in this tough campaign. gentlemen, thank you for joining us. always go to the elected official first. mr. mayor, what needs to be done right now to right this ship, to get obama back on a winning course? >> well, the president is on a winning course and as you laid out earlier, chris, with all the things that mitt romney either lied about or denied about -- what we call that in philadelphia is just lying, denying, and alibiing. and if that's what you're going to spend your time doing and focus on style, then you'll have a pretty decent night. president obama is focused on substance. let me give you three quick numbers here, chris, which i think ultimately is what this election is all about. 31 straight months of job growth here in the united states of america. 5.1 million jobs created in the private sector. and unemployment at 7.8%, the lowest it's been since the president took the oath of
office in january of 2009. things are moving in the right direction. this campaign is moving forward. we've got 30 days to go, and we're focused on voter registration, getting our voters more educated, and then out to vote, and when you talk about all those polls, one poll up, one poll down, what i'm focused on is the polls opening, at least in pennsylvania and many other places across the country, on november 6th, because the only poll that matters is the poll on election day. polls open at 7:00 in philly, close at 8:00. that's what we're talking about. >> okay. let's take a look, president obama spoke to his hollywood backers last night at an l.a. fund-raiser. it sounded like he realized how bad things went. he wasn't as good as you were right now, mayor nutter, but let's take a look. >> everybody here is incredible professionals, such great friends, and they just perform flawlessly night after night. i can't always say the same. back in 2008 everybody always
remembers the victory, but they don't always remember the bumps in the road. things always look good in retrospect, but in the middle of it we made all kinds of mistakes. we goofed up. i goofed up, but the american people carried us forward. >> he doesn't look too happy in having to be self-deprecating, howard, it's not his favorite pastime saying i blew it. >> it's borderline cringe-worthy. i think the people inside know, as has been said and reported, just how bad it was. my reporting tells me that the professional preparers, you know, there's a kind of class of professional debate preparers here in washington -- >> right. >> -- on the democratic side worked with president obama and were pretty pleased with the work they'd done. they thought he was up to speed
and ready to go. but what i'm told is that the very last meetings that the president had were with his innermost circle, with david axelrod and david plouffe and the chicago crowd. >> yeah. >> and they had the last word sort of with the president before he went into the ring, and whatever they advised him to do was not what the preparers thought they had prepared the president for. there's a certain amount of monday morning finger pointing going on inside the obama camp, and interestingly, that's something you didn't see at all in -- >> it's not a good sign. >> everything was so smooth in 2008. now you have a situation where there's a little bit of finger pointing going on. it will be greatly alleviated if joe biden can turn in a good performance on thursday. >> let's take a look at this, mr. mayor. go ahead, did you want to say something? >> go ahead. >> you can't refight the last fight. last wednesday was last wednesday. we can't debate the debate. let's move on. we have one this week. we have 30 days to go.
you know, every day is not a spectacular day for any one of us in these professions that we have. president obama is the same president he was last tuesday, last wednesday, last thursday. moving this country forward, getting people back to work, focused on issues both domestically as well as our international partners around the world. i mean, the speech today by mitt romney about foreign policy was a joke. it has been already panned by so many who actually know what they're talking about. this is the same guy who couldn't even go to the olympics in london and do that right insulting our good friends and our great partner in the uk. so let's talk about the substance of what it takes to run the united states of america, the most powerful country in the world, and not about, you know, style points at
a debate. this is a real job here, and you have to be focused and know what in the world you're doing. >> so your criticizing us for criticizing the campaign debate? okay. let's move on. >> i think the american public wants to hear about the candidates. >> i agree with your main point. let's go back, the obama campaign released this ad over the weekend going after romney's plan on taxes. let's watch the campaign ad that was put out. >> this was dishonest. >> i'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. >> romney is being dishonest here, too. >> according to an independent nonpartisan study, barack obama and the liberals will raise taxes on the middle class. >> chairman of that independent group is from romney's former company. dick cheney is on the board. newt gingrich was there, too. it's not independent. it's just not true. the amazing thing about romney was the way he was -- i have to say somewhat sleazily the other night in the debate, just make up stuff. his position is not worrying about social security people. it was basically dismissing them
as leeches and moochers and deadbeats and then he goes in and shows this crocodile tears for the people who need the social security benefit because that's the main retirement plan. across the board, the pre-existing condition stuff he threw out. unfortunately, the president didn't tag him on the automatic industry. how about 40 million people left in the emergency room? that's big-time bad and nobody nailed him with it. >> this isn't style points, mr. mayor. this is not style points. this is substance. part of being president is being able to explain what you've accomplished and what the risks are of the challenger facing you for re-election. the president just simply didn't do it last time. i think joe biden is going to try to begin the work on thursday of answering the points that the president didn't answer himself. they allowed mitt romney to sort of become or portray the moderate mitt romney running for governor of massachusetts of a decade ago and nobody called him on it.
the notion that he advertised himself as a paragon of bipartisanship, that he praised the fact that tip o'neill and ronald reagan had worked together when he has spent the last year sucking up to the tea party is something that the president should have -- >> here is robert gibbs defending the president on "meet the press." gibbs tried to tackle romney's debate flip-flops. i think he did it here. let's watch. >> it's not rocket science to believe that the president was disappointed in the expectations that he has for himself. but, look, i think part of that was because, as i said earlier, we met a new mitt romney. we met a mitt romney that wanted to walk away from the central theory of his economic plan which is his tax cut. i don't have a tax cut that's $4.8 trillion or $5 trillion. i'm not going to cut taxes on the rich. i don't have a medicare voucher plan. i love teachers, i think we need more of them. i mean, look, don't believe me, speaker gingrich was pretty eloquent in running during the
primaries in saying, look, mitt romney will say absolutely anything to get elected. >> well, one thing i have been saying about the campaign is the president needs surrogates out there, he needs confederates, people out there. i love charleston. a lot of people -- rather charlotte because in charlotte you heard an entire political party speaking led by people like deval patrick, the governor of massachusetts, after you saw mr. mayor. i think it sounds better when it's a serenade than when it's a solo. what do you think about that? because the other guy has these terrible attack dogs out there, people like trump pitching the birtherism nonsense, sununu talking about being lazy. you got priebus and his nonsense about him being from europe and foreign and newt saying terrible things not to mention jack welch trying to undermine the latest unemployment numbers. he has dogs out there, romney, dogs that do the barking for him, and the president doesn't even have nice guys and women out there making noise for him. your thoughts? >> first of all, i mean, i think it's pretty clear from the convention and from the debate
last week, mitt romney is a shameless lying chameleon. he will say anything, he will do anything. the same is true with his running mate, paul ryan. unfortunately, we'll probably hear more of that this week. we do have a great surrogate team and they're on the ground in their respective cities or states. they move around. i certainly move around. you talk about deval patrick, i'm in chicago, rahm emanuel, stephanie rawlings-blake in baltimore, kasim reed, the list goes on and on. we have the best candidate in president obama and vice president biden. we have the greatest surrogate team, and they're on the ground in those places where there are real people with real issues and real problems, and they're talking about the things that the president talks about, jobs and the economy, health care, education, energy, and tax reform. those are the president's themes. he's never walked away from any of those issues, and it's easier, i think quite frankly,
for mitt romney to have multiple positions on the same issue because he has no plans. he has no ideas. he has no proposals. he's not ready for prime time. >> okay. we've got a month to go. please spread the word among the surrogates you mentioned we are welcoming them here on "hardball," not to be afraid of me. i can be dealt with. i'm not the worst guy in the world. i will hit them on the points but they'll have a welcome wagon here if they want to come on and make the points. you're very good at it. howard, jack welch was here friday, he did all right. >> i would say it doesn't feel -- i get what the mayor is saying, but it doesn't quite feel like the chorus you're talking about for some reason. speaking of surrogates, what about the entertainment people? they love barack obama. get out of l.a. and get on the road. >> go to your hometown and tell people what you think. never talk out of l.a., never talk out of new york. i say this to every celebrity i know, go home where you came from, talk to the people you grew up with. >> all advice appreciated. we're moving on to win on election day on november 6th.
>> it's free. anyway, coming up -- thank you, mr. mayor. coming up, mitt romney attacks president obama on foreign policy saying if he were president, he would heat up and prolong every war front in the world, iraq, afghanistan, syria. more war, continuous war, new wars. that's the romney plan. also, joe the first responder. he's taken guff for his gaffes and been lampooned on "snl" but surprise, surprise, vice president joe biden is the guy who democrats are counting on this week to turn the fight when he debates paul ryan on thursday. hey, man, can you do it? plus the president had a bad wednesday night last week and the late night comedians are joy riding on it. even big bird got into the act on "snl." >> so how did you find out your name had been mentioned in the debate? >> oh, i got a million tweets. >> okay. so the you're on twitter? >> no. i'm a bird. tweeting is how we talk. finally, let me finish with why mitt romney reminds me of
we've got a lot of state polls that could determine who controls the u.s. senate. let's check the "hardball" scoreboard. in virginia ppp poll shows democrat tim kaine with a comfortable, catch this, seven-point lead right now, 51% to 44% over george allen in a race that seems to be tilting toward cane. in wisconsin ppp has tammy baldwin leading former republican governor tommy thompson. it's important to keep in mind ppp generally skews a few points democrat. we'll be right back. dium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
america's ability to influence events for the better in iraq has been undermined by the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence. the president has also failed to lead in syria where more than 30,000 men, women, and children have been massacred by the assad regime over the past 20 months. we can't support our friends and defeat our enemies in the middle east when our words are not backed up by deeds. i'll put the leaders of iran on notice that the united states and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. no friend of america will question our commitment to support them. no enemy that attacks america will question our resolve to defeat them. and no one anywhere, friend or foe, will doubt america's capability to back up our words. >> well, you got to wonder about that guy. we should have stayed longer in iraq, open-ended conflict in afghanistan. regardless of the fact we know little about them and onto iran and talks of a red line that
almost guarantees conflict. if you want clarity in what a romney presidency would look like don't ask the candidates's own porn -- foreign policy. advisers say they have engaged with him so little on issues of national security they are uncertain what camp he would fall into and are uncertainly themselves about how he would govern. would he take the lead in bombing iran if the mullahs were getting to close or just back up the israelis one of his senior advises asked. would he push for peace with the palestinians or live with the status quo? he's left himself a lot of wiggle room. if they don't know, who does? >> steve clemons is editor-at-large and david corn has a new book out tomorrow. you broke that story. steve, i'm going to be pretty broad here and just start with my critique of romney. every time he speaks he lists more fronts he wants to get hotter and he wants to stay in
longer whether it's afghanistan or iraq, he wants to go in deeper. should have gone in deeper on libya and syria. should be tougher on drawing a bright line earlier than anybody but the israelis in terms of the iranian nuclear threat. everything is go to war, go to war. name anyone in his family history going back or forward who has ever put on a military uniform. they have no intention of participating in all these wars in any way and yet he wants to fight it as an instinct. it doesn't square. you can't have an instinct for martial activity, military activity in every issue. first thing you think is military and never think it's you're doubt to ever have anybody participate. how can you be such a chicken hawk? let me go to steve on that. isn't there a little shame in his eyes when he sees these kids coming back dismembered? why aren't we doing that. my father, me, brothers, nobody. it never occurs to them to join the military. i didn't believe in the vietnam war, but i wasn't out there protesting for the war like he was at stanford.
he was one of the guys out there protesting the protesters against the war, and yet he never thought for a second, hey, wait a minute, this means i should fight the war. where is the shame? >> he's not setting priorities. he doesn't have a sense -- >> other priorities. i'm sorry, steve. >> i was thinking rather than democrats critiquing mitt romney, what would two serious presidential strategists like george h.w. bush or a richard nixon, i think nixon would be turning over in his grave and i bet bush is grimacing because these were serious guys dealing with tectonic forces that were huge and they knew what the risk to the country were, and they moderated. not everyone would like me attributing richard nixon on your show, but the fact is that he would have serious problems with what mitt romney did and i think both of them would say he just doesn't get it. he doesn't understand the stewardship responsibilities of the president of the united states. his speech, if you think about it, was a speech designed for
the 1950s when america was six times larger than the next biggest economy, could do all things in all places. he attributed george marshall in this speech, who was a great man in my view, it was interesting he spent so much time on israel in his speech today but it was george marshall who was -- >> i think he's appealing to the evangelicals on that front. i think it's pure politics. >> what's interesting about the speech is there's a lot of talk about strength and resolve, but there's really nothing showing us what he would do. he kind of implies we'll go to war and we'll do all these things, but he's kind of a chicken hawk in his actual policies, too. what are we going to do about iran? we'll get tough with sanctions. that's what obama is doing. what are we going to do with syria? we're going to try to find those people who we can help with weapons, which is what the obama administration is doing. on the top line, he talks this big, strong, big stick game but he doesn't really seem to have a clue about how you would even do
that in real life. >> he also -- >> steve i have to get to something dishonest here. i think everybody agreed with your hawk, middle of the road, or a dove, you will agree this is dishonesty here. in the two-state solution it's different what he says in public and behind closed doors to backers. here was romney today sounding reasonable, in fact, consistent with u.s. policy. let's take a look. >> i'll recommit america to the goal of a democratic, prosperous palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the jewish state of israel. on this vital issue, the president has failed and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the u.n. in this old conflict, as in every challenge we face in the middle east, only a new president will bring the chance to begin anew. >> well, here he was in may at that fund-raiser in boca raton
with a lot of wealthy people arguing the best thing to do was accept that it remained an unresolved problem. let's watch his very different approach to people he viewed, i think, as more hawkish even than him. here is mitt romney behind closed doors. >> i don't think the palestinians want to see peace anyway for political purposes, committed to the destruction of israel and these thorny issues and i say there's just no way. what you do is you move things along the best way you can and hope for some degree of stability but realize it's going to remain unsolved. >> that's the policy over there. we're going to wait things out. >> you know, i was the first person to see that tape, and it was one of the few moments other than the 47% moment that kind of stung me. because i knew that he had supported the two-state solution publicly. >> as has both parties.
>> which has been the policy for almost 20 years. if you watch the whole three- minute, four-minute answer, he goes on and on, detail passionately about why that solution can't work. he says all the palestinians, not just some, are bent on the destruction of israel, and the best we can do is just sort of lean on them forever and hope that some day they come around and then maybe there's peace. i have yet to see, because the 47% remark got all the attention, i have yet to see a reporter question him and say, what's the difference here between what you said there and what you say publicly? what do you believe. he's gone off on that. >> israeli public opinion, which is always wonderfully turbulent, is for a two-state solution. >> they know. >> they cannot be an arab dominated jewish state. thank you. i wish we had more time, steve, about you i think you made your points. up next, the republican congressman who says evolution is a lie straight from hell. he's a deep thinker. and he sits on the science committee. great. that's in the "sideshow." i think he's in the "sideshow." this is "hardball," the place
elmo has made a run for the border. governor romney plans to let wall street run wild again, but he's bringing the hammer down on sesame street. >> back too "hardball." that was president obama, of course, in los angeles just yesterday taunting mitt romney for saying he'll starve big bird if elected president. and check out this cartoon from "the atlanta journal constitution's" mike luckovich, quote, president mitt romney and his team reviewing live video on raid of big bird's compound. as for operation save big bird, there's this.
hillary clinton takes the lead. quote, confirmed, i got the bird. we will move him to a safe house in the morning. that's hillary clinton. now, a few words from a member of the house science committee. georgia republican paul broun, a medical doctor, gave a sermon at a baptist church last month and addressed the issue of evolution. >> i've come to understand that all that stuff i was taught about evolution, embryology, big bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. and it's lies to try to keep me and the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior. there are a lot of scientific data that i found out as a scientist that actually showed that this is really a young earth. i don't believe that the earth has been around 9,000 years. i believe it was created in six days as we know them. >> well, bill nye the science
guy had this to say in response to congressman broun's comments. quote, since the economic future of the united states depends on our tradition of technological innovation, representative broun's views are not in the national interest. he is by any measure, unqualified to make decisions about science, space, and technology. wow. ready for something really scary? one of broun's cohorts is todd akin who holds the theory that women can prevent getting pregnant in instances of what he calls legitimate rape. up next, can joe biden save the day for the democrats when he debates paul ryan in thursday? you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
the fungal meningitis outbreak continues to worsen. so far, 105 people are sick and eight have died. in california, it could take days for gasoline prices to fall. jerry sandusky will be sentenced tomorrow on 45 counts of child abuse. he released a statement yesterday asserting his innocence. back to "hardball." is there anything more exciting than joe biden thinking it's up to him to get the lead back? it's tivo time. there's like a 50% chance he's going to come out at the next debate with his shirt off. he's probably covering himself with animal fat right now to make himself harder to grab. >> welcome back to "hardball."
"saturday night live's" seth meyers there isn't the only one excited about this week's vp debate. here is a sampling of today's headlines. in "the huffington post," obama needs the merciless joe. "the wall street journal" amps up the anticipation with bigger bang expected from ryan/biden bout. and politico lays out the high stakes for this debate in a jonathan martin article headlines a veep debate that could really matter. even paul ryan admits biden will undoubtedly bring his "a" game. let's listen. >> we think he's probably going to come at me like a cannonball. >> well, this under card fight is generating incredible hype, especially for vice president biden who has some cleanup to do following the president's debate performance last week. jonathan martin is a senior political reporter with politico and joan walsh is editor-at-large for salon, author of "what's the matter with white people." i said it like i'm supposed to talk. this idea of -- let's talk tactics.
does biden go in and nail ryan for what he stood there for all those years. put it in the present tense. you want to voucherize medicare, you are an ayn rand ideologue who wants to shift wealth. >> the short answer is yes. my reporting indicates from talking to both camps that biden is going to be the aggressor. he is going to go through the transcript from last week in denver, and the places where president obama either did not raise or didn't fully prosecute the issue against romney, biden will do so against ryan. it's the entitlements, it's the auto bailout, and i think also it's the issues around romney. perhaps the income taxes, his 47% comments. this is going to be, i think, a full-throated joe biden thursday night in kentucky, and i think what they also want to do, the biden folks, is try to get ryan into the weeds.
they want to get ryan in a conversation on math, to get to the sort of question as to whether or not the romney tax plan adds up. the ryan folks i talked to want to keep it at 20,000 feet. they want ryan to stick with the romney-like message of jobs and the economy, sound centrist, don't get too far out there in some sort of ideological makers versus takers debate. >> everybody that's ever worked for many years in an industrial company or any kind, joan, fears the guy like paul ryan to show up. he comes in, and he's the efficiency expert. he's the cost cutter. he comes in looking for people to fire, you know? everybody hates him. can he make him look like that guy or can he wag his tail and seem like he's the cute younger guy and get away with that? >> i don't think he really needs -- should think about wagging his tail and being the cute younger guy, chris, because then you really do have this amazing stature gap between the two men. there's an age gap, an experience gap. i don't think paul ryan can afford to look cute and fuzzy. i think this is teed up perfectly for joe biden. all the things we talked about
last week we wished the president might have thrown at mitt romney or asked mitt romney about are even better for ryan. it was paul ryan who was confronted with chris wallace asking him about the math of the budget plan, was the one who said i just don't have time to get into that. joe biden can say, i'd like to give you all the time you need, take all the time you need, congressman ryan, and tell us which deductions you two are going to close. he can confront him on the $716 billion that he also likewise cuts from medicare. >> identical number. >> identical number. that's a wonderful thing to be teed up for vice president biden, and he can also just come at him on the issue of entitlements generally. paul ryan is somebody who apparently saved the survivor benefits that he got from social security, used them to go to a good college, and now has been a long-time advocate of privatizing social security. >> i just wish joe biden would at some point ask the question, why do you right wingers think the way to get rich people to work harder is to give them more money and the way to get poor
people to work harder is to screw them? you have different attitudes on how to approach people. biden delivered, many people think, top notch debate performances. this takedown of rudy giuliani was his most memorable. this was good work by biden. let's listen. >> the irony is rudy giuliani, probably the most underqualified man since george bush to seek the presidency, is here talking about the people here. rudy giuliani, there's only one things he mentioned in a sentence, a noun, a verb, and 9/11. >> i remember that line, very, very well. i had a ryan staffer tell me that they were going back and looking at some of the research, that not only did biden do very well in his debates, but david plouffe, the obama strategist, wrote in his book part of the reason obama picked biden was because he was impressed with his debate performance. he's a 40-year veteran, and he's
going to be a capable debater. when joe biden was debating in '87 and '88 when he ran for president the first time, paul ryan was in high school. so there's going to be, i think, a fascinating age gap there on that stage. joe biden is not somebody that's going to come out there and sort of stumble around. it's possible he could commit a gaffe, but the ryan folks that i talked to are getting ready for, you know, the chairman of the foreign relations committee, not the gaffe-prone sort of lampooned joe biden. >> do you think they might take a stick at him and taunt him? even little ryan doing that, like how is neil kinnock doing, speaking of the '87 race? your thoughts, joan? can you gig him? >> i doubt it. that's a little dangerous. the vice president's gaffes when he makes them tends to come before really friendly crowds where he gets excited and -- they don't come on the debating stage. he's got great mastery of the
facts, and he's also got -- you know, he's got a winning personality. certainly anything can happen in these debates, none of us would have predicted president obama would have performed as poorly as he did last week. so i don't want to set him up as though it's an easy thing, but it's a lot more favorable than the people who are making the gaffe jokes. >> i think ryan also is a very capable debater. this is going to be a substantive, i think, really, really tough debate. look, 2004 you had cheney really take john edwards to school. there are similarities generationally, but, look, paul ryan is going to be much more skilled at that table than edwards was eight years ago. >> will we hear about grandpa finnegan from biden? >> i'm sure we'll hear about scranton. >> some of that old family stuff. thank you very much, joan walsh -- not that there is something wrong with it -- jonathan martin, thank you. the debate and its aftermath becomes fodder for the comedians.
[ feedback ] attention, well, everyone. you can now try snapshot from progressive free for 30 days. just plug this into your car, and your good driving can save you up to 30%. you could even try it without switching your insurance. why not give it a shot? carry on. now you can test-drive snapshot before you switch. visit progressive.com today. i think we can probably stop worrying about the obama campaign is surely going to be well outspent by romney's. the obama campaign and the dnc announced they have raised $181 million just last month and that's just ten shy of the amount they raised in september of 2008.
well, jim, when it comes to jobs, president obama prefers what i call a trickle down government solution. now, my plan is different. it involves 41 basic elements, 6 abrupt reversals of positions, and 3 outright lies. >> we're back. for political comedians the presidential debate is the gift that keeps on giving, and nobody does it better than "saturday night live." this week's show tapped into the zeitgeist of last wednesday's debate, romney stretching the truth and obama not catching him. let's watch.
>> the anniversary gift, i can't believe i forgot the anniversary gift. okay. i'll be out of here by 9:00 local time. i'll have the secret service distract michelle while i hit the hotel gift shop for some kind of anniversary present. they had a denver broncos sweatshirt. she might like that. the hotel had some nice bathrobes for sale. that could be good. >> excuse me, governor, mr. president? >> i'm sorry, yeah, yeah. what's up? >> mr. president, governor romney has just said that he killed osama bin laden. would you care to respond? >> no, you two go ahead. >> with me now is lizz winstead, creator of "the daily show" and author of "lizz free or die," and nia malika henderson. what did you think of what you saw so far, ladies? is this going to educate america or de-educate us?
what's all this satire going to do for us? >> lizz, you go. >> okay. i think that anytime you shine a light on when powerful people are messing up, you do a service. so i think that's a good thing, and i think that "snl" this weekend, if that was a wash rag, they took it and they mined every piece of comedy out of those debates. it was pretty impressive. >> once you say the conversation is over, that's just on my part. everybody is using lie. there's problems with the way romney went through that debate. looked good but didn't exactly convey a lot of truth. your thoughts? >> that's exactly what democrats are saying. paul ryan was out today and says that he expects for the next month he's going to hear from the obama campaign that they are liars and you hear liberals picking up on that. again, to go to this point about
"saturday night live," i think it underscores what people already saw from that debate, which is that president obama turned in a very poor performance. i thought that he would have been smart to go on to "saturday night live" and sort of lampoon himself. we saw him do that out west. i guess the "saturday night live" folks reached out to him and they both declined. i think it has been a right of passage in elections, going back to 2008 when mccain was on, obama was on, hillary clinton was on and sarah palin, too. it is part of our political discourse. it reinforces the narratives. i think "snl" has had problems portraying obama. they switched to a new guy. jay ferrel seems to be better at poking fun at obama. >> seth myers took a stab at one of romney's most egregious
statements, that his health care plan would provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. which it would not do. here's a dishonest statement that was admitted to being a dishonest statement that night. let's watch. >> when are people with pre-existing health care conditions, claiming that obama care will take care of you. loser. people with pre-existing medical conditions because, you know, he's not telling the truth. >> well, there you have it, lizz, how can you chuckle at a guy accused of lying. lying is not a nice thing to do, especially when the stakes are so high. >> it's true. when you have someone like romney who has been switching sides so much, you just go, wow, both sides of your mouth must be exhausted. but i think it's the comedian job to cut through it because when you dance around the word lie, chris, like you said, regular folks don't dance around the word "lie." when they hear it, they are like, that's a lie. i was hosting 400 people in a
room watching the debate and we were having -- with comics and when romney threw out that the president is taking away 716 -- and the president just sat there, the audience audibly went, whoa, dude, speak up. like they were yelling and they were so mad. >> here's an example of somebody being perhaps more broadly. snl lampooned by debating style. let's watch. >> one thing president obama, why was he letting governor romney talk? forgot the first rule of debating. always be interrupting? a point to make up for it by screaming at people. that's how you win a debate. >> chris, i don't know about that. >> you're wrong. the debate is over. i win. >> nia, you're on this program all the time. come on, is that me? >> you know, you have never interrupted someone, certainly never have interrupted me. i have to give props to jason sudeikis. he can play biden, you, and
romney. he's so funny, over the top, playing chris matthews in the interrupter and the yeller. >> what do you think, lizz? >> you're debating how i answer this question? >> maybe. >> george clooney, that was an outrage. i cannot believe that they would do that to you. i didn't know it was you. >> i like it. it's not true, but it's all fun. lizz, your thoughts, will joe biden be the guy that is played by sudeikis on "saturday night live"? or more sober guy? what's coming this thursday night? >> i think that's exactly right and i also think paul ryan and with the abs and the p90x and they are going to -- i bet you 10 bucks there's a skit with paul ryan without a shirt on. >> thank you, nia-malika henderson who is my friend and lizz winstead. when we return, bill
murray's character on "ground hog day." think about t you're watching "hardball," a place for politics. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios
it reminds me of bill murray's character in groundhog day. every day he gets up to the same day, comes up with a new pitch based on what she said about her likes and dislikes the day before. this is the romney approach. sell whatever people are willing to buy. if that causes trouble, say you're against any cuts in medicare. get it? sell big tax cuts to the job creators, those in the country with the most money. if that causes trouble, just deny it. say you don't know nothing about tax cuts for the rich. pretend you never said a word about giving a break to those job creators. get it? say that you want the auto industry to go bankrupt. say you don't care about 47% of the country that doesn't care about social security. then when that 47% is watching you, say that your heart is bleeding for them. that's right, just like on groundhog day, listening for clues of what doesn't work. what in your pitch isn't selling? making the changes overnight and